Archive for July 2011

Home & Visiting Teaching Messages For August   Leave a comment

First Presidency Message

Love at Home—Counsel from Our Prophet

Love at Home

Blessed Family Life

“When we have sampled much and have wandered far and have seen how fleeting and sometimes superficial a lot of the world is, our gratitude grows for the privilege of being part of something we can count on—home and family and the loyalty of loved ones. We come to know what it means to be bound together by duty, by respect, by belonging. We learn that nothing can fully take the place of the blessed relationship of family life.”1

Sharing Our Love

“Give your child a compliment and a hug; say, ‘I love you’ more; always express your thanks. Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved. Friends move away, children grow up, loved ones pass on. It’s so easy to take others for granted, until that day when they’re gone from our lives and we are left with feelings of ‘what if’ and ‘if only.’ …
“Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey and share our love with friends and family. One day, each of us will run out of tomorrows. Let us not put off what is most important.”2

Showing Our Love

“Brethren, let’s treat our wives with dignity and with respect. They’re our eternal companions. Sisters, honor your husbands. They need to hear a good word. They need a friendly smile. They need a warm expression of true love. …
“To you who are parents, I say, show love to your children. You know you love them, but make certain they know it as well. They are so precious. Let them know. Call upon our Heavenly Father for help as you care for their needs each day and as you deal with the challenges which inevitably come with parenthood. You need more than your own wisdom in rearing them.”3

Expressing Our Love

“To you parents, express your love to your children. Pray for them that they may be able to withstand the evils of the world. Pray that they may grow in faith and testimony. Pray that they may pursue lives of goodness and of service to others.
“Children, let your parents know you love them. Let them know how much you appreciate all they have done and continue to do for you.”4

What Is Most Important

“What is most important almost always involves the people around us. Often we assume that they must know how much we love them. But we should never assume; we should let them know. Wrote William Shakespeare, ‘They do not love that do not show their love.’ We will never regret the kind words spoken or the affection shown. Rather, our regrets will come if such things are omitted from our relationships with those who mean the most to us.”5

Bringing Heaven Closer

“May our families and homes be filled with love: love of each other, love of the gospel, love of our fellowman, and love of our Savior. As a result, heaven will be a little closer here on earth.
“May we make of our homes sanctuaries to which our family members will ever want to return.”6

A Prayer for Families

“Inasmuch as the family unit is under attack in the world today, and many things long held sacred are ridiculed, we ask Thee, our Father, to make us equal to the challenges we face, that we may stand strong for truth and righteousness. May our homes be havens of peace, of love and of spirituality.”7

Teaching from This Message

In one type of learning activity, “the teacher presents a question or situation and gives learners a short amount of time to freely suggest solutions or ideas” (Teaching, No Greater Call [1999], 160). As you read this article with the family, ask them to listen for counsel or ideas that impress them. Family members could then suggest ways to increase love in their home. Consider inviting the family to review these ideas in an upcoming family home evening.
Youth

Mother Rescued Us

When I was six, my little sister and I were watching our older sister’s basketball game. My dad left, and then we decided that we wanted to go home with him, so we ran after him in the rain. When we couldn’t find him, we went back to the gym to go home with our mom, but by the time we entered the gym, everyone in the building was gone.
I remember huddling in a doorframe, trying to get my little sister and me out of the rain, praying that someone would come. Then I remember hearing the door to our red van slam shut, and we went running toward the sound. Then came one of the most vivid childhood memories I have: our mother enfolding us in her arms “as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings” (3 Nephi 10:4). My mother had rescued us, and I never felt more secure than I did at that moment.
As I think of her influence on me, I see that my mother’s life has pointed me toward the Savior and has shown me what it means to “lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees” (D&C 81:5). She relied on Jesus Christ, who gave her strength “beyond [her] own” (“Lord, I Would Follow Thee,” Hymns, no. 220).
I never felt more secure than I did at the moment my mother enfolded us in her arms.
Children

Building a Happy Home

President Monson suggests ways we can build a happy home. Look through the article to find things you and your family can do to make a happy home.
Each time you find something you can do, write it in one of the spaces provided. After you have found your first item, draw the part of the home listed next to the line. Find at least five ways you can build a happy home and draw the whole house and your family in it.
  1. 1. Walls ______________________________________
  2. 2. Roof ______________________________________
  3. 3. Door ______________________________________
  4. 4. Windows ______________________________________
  5. 5. Family ______________________________________

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Visiting Teaching Message

A Society of Holy Women

Study this material and, as appropriate, discuss it with the sisters you visit. Use the questions to help you strengthen your sisters and to make Relief Society an active part of your own life.

A Society of Holy Women

Relief Society seal

Faith • Family • Relief
Eliza R. Snow, second Relief Society general president, taught: “Paul the Apostle anciently spoke of holy women. It is the duty of each one of us to be a holy woman. We shall have elevated aims, if we are holy women. We shall feel that we are called to perform important duties. No one is exempt from them. There is no sister so isolated, and her sphere so narrow but what she can do a great deal towards establishing the Kingdom of God upon the earth.”1
Sisters, we are not isolated nor is our sphere narrow. By accepting the gift of activity in Relief Society, we become part of what the Prophet Joseph described as a society “separate from all the evils of the world—choice, virtuous, and holy.”2
This society helps us strengthen our faith and grow spiritually by giving us leadership, service, and teaching opportunities. In our service a new dimension is added to our lives. We progress spiritually, and our sense of belonging, identity, and self-worth increases. We realize that the whole intent of the gospel plan is to provide an opportunity for us to reach our fullest potential.
Relief Society helps prepare us to receive the blessings of the temple, to honor the covenants we make, and to be engaged in the cause of Zion. Relief Society helps us increase our faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families, and seek out and help those in need.
The work of Relief Society is holy, and doing holy work creates holiness in us.
Silvia H. Allred, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency.

From the Scriptures

Exodus 19:5; Psalm 24:3–4; 1 Thessalonians 4:7; Titus 2:3–4; Doctrine and Covenants 38:24; 46:33; 82:14; 87:8; Moses 7:18

From Our History

Speaking to the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, the Prophet Joseph emphasized holiness, explaining that as sisters became pure and holy, they would have a marked influence upon the world. He explained: “Meekness, love, purity—these are the things that should magnify you. … This Society … shall have power to command queens in their midst. … The kings and queens of the earth will come unto Zion, and pay their respects.” Relief Society sisters living their covenants command the respect not only of noble people, but “if you live up to your privileges,” Joseph promised the sisters, “the angels cannot be restrained from being your associates.”3
As the sisters participated in the work of serving and saving others, they became personally sanctified. Lucy Mack Smith, the Prophet’s mother, shared the good Relief Society could accomplish: “We must cherish one another, watch over one another, comfort one another and gain instruction, that we may all sit down in heaven together.”4

What Can I Do?

  1. 1. How am I helping the sisters I watch over to cultivate and achieve “elevated aims”?
  2. 2. What am I doing to make my life “choice, virtuous, and holy”?
For more information, go to www.reliefsociety.lds.org.

The Shumway Sequence

1.ALWAYS STRIVING TO INCREASE TIME SPENT AROUND THE SPIRIT

“…Humble yourselves before the Lord…call upon His holy name…watch and pray continually… and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all longsuffering.” (Alma 13:28)

2.ALL THINGS ACCOMPLISHED ACCORDING TO THE LORD’S TIMING

“Let not your minds turn back; and when ye are worthy, in mine own due time, ye shall see and know that which was conferred upon you.” (Doctrine & Covenants Section 67:14)

3.THERE IS SPECIAL SIGNIFICANCE IN THE SERVICE YOU ARE GIVING

“And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” (Mosiah 2:17)

4.INCREASE OUR DESIRE TO HAVE A DEEPER LEVEL OF TRUST AND FAITH

“…exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.” (Alma 32:27 –Faith)“I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good- yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously ; and this is my Spirit.”(Doctrine & Covenants Section 11:12 – Trust)

5.IF YOU ARE HERE NOW, YOU ARE FOREORDAINED TO BE HERE.

“And this is the manner after which [we] were ordained – being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; …therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling…which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such.” (Alma 13:3)

When The Lord Commands   Leave a comment

          In April of 2010, at General Conference, there was a talk given by Bruce A. Carlson of The Second Quorum Of The Seventy, that i’m sure at the time I took note of, but failed to allow to sink into my mind. Perhaps this talk is much like what happens when we study the Standard Works, and stumble upon a scripture we easily could have read over a dozen times, and yet, the 13th time, we find it pivotal to our current situations.
          This talk, and many other great ones really hit home for me. We all know that our leaders, and the council they give us come down from the Lord. Revelation is one of the blessings, and foundational principles upon which we, as Sons and Daughters of a loving Heavenly Father can draw upon to know and execute the will of the Lord. I mentioned not too long ago, in a previous blog, a highlight from the “Shumway Sequence” (A Special Draft of 5 points our Stake President has given as revelatory field guidance for successful progression and expansion of the Lubbock Texas Stake.) which was:

“# 2. ALL THINGS ACCOMPLISHED ACCORDING TO THE LORD’S TIMING“.

          I submit that this principle goes hand in hand with the faithful execution of another principle, “Obedience To The Laws And Ordinances Of The Gospel.” This is one of the “Lubbock Standard Of Success” (The entire Stake) items. Granted these items have been told us, for our stake, yet I submit and testify that if we obey, if we do the will of the Lord 100 %, and leave our will out of that plan, we simply will not, and cannot lose.

          It requires deep Faith, and great trust in the Lord to move forward, even when we may not see or exactly know what adversity we may very well wade through. The Shumway Sequence reminds us that we need to:

“#4. INCREASE OUR DESIRE TO HAVE A DEEPER LEVEL OF TRUST AND FAITH.”

          Now I submit the text of the talk I spoke of in the beginning.
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The story is told of two outdoor enthusiasts who hired a bush plane to fly them to a remote lake for their annual fishing trip. Following a successful outing, the pilot returned to retrieve them. However, he quickly informed the fishermen that his small plane would not support them, their equipment, and the added weight of the fish they had caught. A second flight would be required.
Now, the sportsmen were not interested in paying for a second round-trip. So after a promise to pack tightly and a small bonus payment, the pilot reluctantly agreed to attempt the flight.
The fishermen grinned knowingly as the pilot forced the aircraft into the air. However, seconds later the plane stalled and crashed into a large, flat swampy area at the end of the lake.
The plane had stalled as it flew because of a well-known phenomenon called “ground effect.” Ground effect is created when air is compressed between the aircraft’s wings and the earth’s surface—when they are in close proximity. In this case, as the bush plane inched its way upward out of ground effect, it was required to fly on its own power, which it simply could not do.
Fortunately there were no serious injuries, and after regaining their senses, one of the fishermen asked the other, “What happened?” The second replied, “We crashed on takeoff—about a hundred yards (91 m) from where we ended up last year!”
Like the two sportsmen, occasionally we believe that there must be an easier way, a shortcut or modification of the Lord’s commandments that will accommodate our individual circumstances. Thoughts such as these fail to acknowledge that strict obedience to God’s laws brings His blessings and failure to abide by His laws leads to foreseeable consequences.
At the time of his appointment as President of the Church, Harold B. Lee said: “The safety of the Church lies in the members keeping the commandments. … As they keep the commandments, blessings will come.” 1
When we choose to disobey a commandment, it is usually because (1) we have convinced ourselves that the commandment does not apply to us; (2) we do not believe that it is important; or (3) we are certain that it is too difficult to obey.

1. This Commandment Doesn’t Apply to Me

During the closing years of King Solomon’s reign, the Lord informed him through His prophet, “I will … rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.” 2
 
Shortly thereafter, the prophet Ahijah identified that servant as Jeroboam, an “industrious” man whom Solomon had made “ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph.” 3 Jeroboam’s duties required him to travel from the mountains of Ephraim, where he lived, to the capital of Jerusalem. During one of those trips, Ahijah met him along the road. Through Ahijah, the Lord said, “I will … give ten tribes to thee.” 4 He also instructed Jeroboam, “If thou wilt … walk in my ways … to keep my statutes and my commandments, … I will be with thee … and will give Israel unto thee.” 5
 
After hearing of Ahijah’s prophecy, Solomon sought to kill Jeroboam, so Jeroboam fled to Egypt. 6 Upon Solomon’s death Jeroboam returned from exile to the northern part of Israel and began to lead the northern ten tribes. 7
 
However, Jeroboam’s plan to rule the kingdom involved a mixture of good and evil. He established Shechem as the nation’s capital, a city of great religious significance to his people. But sadly he introduced satanic rituals into their worship. 8
 
Jeroboam convinced himself that some of God’s commandments were not applicable to him. As a result of his actions, all of his descendants were slain, and because of the heathen practices he had introduced into their sacred ordinances, the ten tribes of Israel were eventually driven from their inheritance. 9
 
Just as flying out of ground effect with more weight than an aircraft’s wings can sustain will lead to disastrous consequences, our partial or selective compliance with God’s laws will fail to bring the full blessings of obedience.

2. This Commandment Is Not Important

Decades later Naaman, a Syrian war hero, “a mighty man in valour,” 10 traveled from his native country to Israel and approached the king, Jehoram, to be healed of leprosy. 11
 
Naaman was directed to the prophet Elisha. “And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, … and thou shalt be clean.” 12
 
Despite this prophetic promise to be cured, Naaman was offended that Elisha did not greet him in person and even more insulted with the prophet’s direction to wash seven times in the small and muddy Jordan River. His pride demanded something more noteworthy and grand, something matching his stature and place in the community and nation.
Fortunately for Naaman, his servants convinced him that regardless of what the prophet asked him to do, if obeyed, it would bring the Lord’s blessings. Naaman washed himself in the Jordan River as directed and, as a result of his obedience, was cured of his leprosy. 13
 
Obedience to the Lord’s commands, in spite of how trivial or unimportant we believe them to be, will surely bring His promised blessings.

3. This Commandment Is Just Too Hard

Following the Lord’s command, the prophet Lehi led his family into the wilderness. During the first few days of the journey, Lehi instructed his son Lemuel to be “firm and steadfast, and immovable in keeping the commandments of the Lord!” 14
 
However, when the prophetic requirement came to return to Jerusalem to retrieve the brass plates, containing a “record of the Jews,” 15 the two oldest boys rebelled, saying, “It is a hard thing.” 16
 
Despite his older brothers’ murmuring, Nephi’s faith in and obedience to the Lord’s commands led to obtaining those brass plates. A nation was built, a language was preserved, and the gospel of Jesus Christ was taught for generations to come.
At times we may rationalize that the Lord will understand our disobedience because our special circumstances make adherence to His laws difficult, embarrassing, or even painful. However, faithful obedience, regardless of the apparent size of the task, will bring the Lord’s guidance, assistance, and peace.
The Prophet Joseph Smith petitioned the Lord on two occasions, asking if a prominent friend, Martin Harris, could take the first 116 handwritten pages of translated material from the book of Lehi from Harmony, Pennsylvania, back to Palmyra. Each time, the Lord counseled Joseph to avoid entrusting the manuscript to Mr. Harris.
Martin was seeking to use the translated material as evidence to stop his associates from spreading rumors about his friendship with Joseph Smith. On the third request the Lord granted Joseph’s appeal. 17
Martin lost the manuscript, and as a result the plates were taken from the Prophet Joseph Smith for an extended period. This was a painful lesson for the Prophet Joseph, who said, “I made this my rule: When the Lord commands, do it. 18 This should and can be our rule as well.
The Lord’s response when we obey His commandments is sure. He has promised us, “If you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life.” 19
 
Additionally He has counseled us, “I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end.” 20
 
Obedience to the Lord’s commandments provides us confidence in our chosen path, qualifies us for His guidance and direction as we pursue our efforts, and offers us the potential to become like our Savior, Jesus Christ, and return to our Father’s presence.
It is my prayer that each day will find us striving to be more obedient to the laws, ordinances, and commandments of the gospel of Jesus Christ in order that He may more fully bless our lives.
I testify that obedience to God’s commands brings the blessings of heaven; that our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, live; that the Book of Mormon is the word of God; and that President Thomas S. Monson is the Lord’s prophet for our day, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
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The Shumway Sequence

1.ALWAYS STRIVING TO INCREASE TIME SPENT AROUND THE SPIRIT“…Humble yourselves before the Lord…call upon His holy name…watch and pray continually… and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all longsuffering.” (Alma 13:28)

2.ALL THINGS ACCOMPLISHED ACCORDING TO THE LORD’S TIMING“Let not your minds turn back; and when ye are worthy, in mine own due time, ye shall see and know that which was conferred upon you.” (Doctrine & Covenants Section 67:14)

3.THERE IS SPECIAL SIGNIFICANCE IN THE SERVICE YOU ARE GIVING“And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” (Mosiah 2:17)

4.INCREASE OUR DESIRE TO HAVE A DEEPER LEVEL OF TRUST AND FAITH“…exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.” (Alma 32:27 –Faith)“I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good- yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously ; and this is my Spirit.”(Doctrine & Covenants Section 11:12 – Trust)

5.IF YOU ARE HERE NOW, YOU ARE FOREORDAINED TO BE HERE.“And this is the manner after which [we] were ordained – being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; …therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling…which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such.” (Alma 13:3)

Posted July 28, 2011 by rexfordgbeardsleyjr in When The Lord Commands

Lesson For July 24th: "Become as a Little Child"   Leave a comment

Brethren,

I have been pondering the very deep meaning in the teaching of the Lord. This teaching is simple, yet profound as it will be found in Matthew 18:3 which reads…

Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

The implications are broad,and not without longstanding need of continual reflection. But just what does He mean by that? When I reflect upon this, I also begin to think about the other admonition of the Savior, “Come Unto Me”. In Quorum meetings I have mentioned this before, but when I consider the latter of the two well known, and frequently discussed admonitions of the Lord, I think of the gentle correction we as children all at one time were instructed. Whether upon the knee of a father or mother, we were corrected in a way, then after the correction came the outpouring of love. (See also D & C 121)

The same could be said of us, as we “…repent and come unto [Him]..” going to Him we bring our sorrows, and being with Him, our hearts are full of inexpressible love!

So, what are some of those things that will help us qualify to become like a child? It is as King Benjamin said: “….and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.” (Mosiah 3:19)

This is no easy process Brethren, and will take a continual application of effort on our part, just like we are reminded on The Shumway Sequence #2, it will all happen, yet, :

2.      ALL THINGS ACCOMPLISHEDACCORDING TO THE LORD’S TIMING
“Let not your minds turn back; and when yeare worthy, in mine own due time, ye shall see and know that which wasconferred upon you.” (Doctrine & Covenants Section 67:14)

 I have a testimony of this work. I know in my heart this is the TRUE gospel of Jesus Christ- Restored to the earth in the Latter-Days just as foretold by prophets of old. I know that Joseph Smith is The Prophet Of The Restoration, and my testimony of him as a Prophet of the Lord is as sure as the sunrise. Now Brethren, the official text for Sunday Lesson July 24th, 2011.

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Our Father in Heaven, in His great wisdom and love, sends His spirit sons and daughters to this earth as children. They come to families as precious gifts with a divine nature and destiny. Our Heavenly Father knows children are a key to helping us become like Him. There is so much we can learn from children.
This important truth was evidenced some years ago as a member of the Seventy was on assignment in Hong Kong. He visited a very humble ward that was struggling in many ways, unable to provide for its own needs. As the bishop described their situation, the General Authority felt the impression to have the members pay their tithing. The bishop, knowing their dire circumstances, was concerned about how he could carry out that counsel. He thought about it and decided he would approach some of the most faith-filled members of his ward and ask them to pay their tithing. The next Sunday he went to the Primary. He taught the children about the Lord’s law of tithing and asked if they would be willing to pay tithing on the money they earned. The children said they would. And they did.
The bishop later went to the adults in the ward and shared with them that for the past six months their faithful children had been paying tithing. He asked them if they would be willing to follow the example of these children and do the same. The people were so touched by the sacrifices the children were willing to make that they did what was necessary to pay their tithing. And the windows of heaven were opened. With the example of these faithful children, a ward grew in obedience and in testimony.
It was Jesus Christ Himself who taught us to look to children as an example. The New Testament records His answer when His Apostles disputed who should be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus answered their question with a small yet powerful object lesson. He called a little child to Him and set him in the midst of them and said:
“Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
“Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3–4).
What is it we should learn from children? What qualities do they possess and what examples do they demonstrate that can help us in our own spiritual development?
These precious children of God come to us with believing hearts. They are full of faith and receptive to feelings of the Spirit. They exemplify humility, obedience, and love. They are often the first to love and the first to forgive.
Let me share some experiences of how children can bless our lives with their innocent yet powerful examples of Christlike attributes.
Todd, a little boy just two years old, recently went with his mother to an art museum that was showing a special exhibit of beautiful paintings of the Savior. As they walked past these sacred images, she heard her little boy reverently saying the name “Jesus.” She looked down to see him folding his arms and bowing his head as he viewed the paintings. Could we learn from Todd something about an attitude of humility, of reverence, and of love for the Lord?
Last fall I watched the example of a 10-year-old boy in Armenia. As we waited for sacrament meeting to begin, he noticed the oldest member of the branch arrive. He was the one who quickly went to her side, offering his arm to steady her faltering steps. He assisted her to the front row of the chapel, where she could hear. Could his small act of kindness teach us that those who are greatest in the Lord’s kingdom are those who look for opportunities to serve others?
Katie, a Primary-age girl, taught us as we saw her influence on her family. She attended Primary and was drawn to the teachings of the gospel. With growing faith and testimony, Katie left a note on her parents’ pillow. She wrote that the gospel truths had found a “home in her heart.” She shared her longing to be close to her Heavenly Father, to be obedient to His commandments, and to have their family sealed in the temple. The simple testimony of their sweet daughter touched her parents’ hearts in a powerful way. Katie and her family did receive sacred temple ordinances that bound their family together forever. Katie’s believing heart and example of faith helped bring eternal blessings to her family. Could her sincere testimony and desire to follow the Lord’s plan lead us to see more clearly what really matters most?
Our family is learning from a close relative, six-year-old Liam. This past year he has battled aggressive brain cancer. After two difficult surgeries, it was decided that radiation would also be necessary. During these radiation treatments, he was required to be all alone and lie absolutely still. Liam did not want to be sedated because he disliked the way it made him feel. He was determined that if he could just hear his dad’s voice over the intercom, he could lie still without the sedative.
During these anxious times, his dad spoke to him with words of encouragement and love. “Liam, although you can’t see me, I am right here. I know you can do it. I love you.” Liam successfully accomplished the 33 required radiation treatments while holding perfectly still, a feat his doctors thought would be impossible without sedation for one so young. Through months of pain and difficulty, Liam’s contagious optimism has been a powerful example of meeting adversity with hope and even happiness. His doctors, nurses, and countless others have been inspired by his courage.
We are all learning important lessons from Liam—lessons about choosing faith and trusting in the Lord. Just like Liam, we cannot see our Heavenly Father, but we can listen for His voice to give us the strength we need to endure the challenges of life.
Could Liam’s example help us to better understand King Benjamin’s words to become as a child—submissive, meek, humble, patient, and full of love? (see Mosiah 3:19).
These children are providing examples of some of the childlike qualities we need to develop or rediscover in ourselves in order to enter into the kingdom of heaven. They are bright spirits who are untarnished by the world—teachable and full of faith. It is no wonder the Savior has a special love and appreciation for little children.
Among the transcendent events of the Savior’s visit to the Americas, His tender ministry to the children stands apart. In a poignant way He reached out to each child.
“And he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.
“And when he had done this he wept. …
“And he spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones” (3 Nephi 17:21–23).
Elder M. Russell Ballard has taught us the importance of the Savior’s admonition to “behold your little ones” when he said: “Notice that He didn’t say ‘glance at them’ or ‘casually observe them’ or ‘occasionally take a look in their general direction.’ He said to behold them. To me that means that we should embrace them with our eyes and with our hearts; we should see and appreciate them for who they really are: spirit children of our Heavenly Father, with divine attributes” (“Behold Your Little Ones,” Tambuli, Oct. 1994, 40; emphasis added; “Great Shall Be the Peace of Thy Children,” Ensign, Apr. 1994, 59).
There is not a more perfect place to behold our little ones than in our families. Home is a place where we can all learn and grow together. One of our beautiful Primary songs teaches this truth:
God gave us families
To help us become what He wants us to be—
This is how He shares His love,
For the fam’ly is of God.
 
It is here in our families, in an atmosphere of love, where we see and appreciate in a more personal way the divine attributes of His spirit children. It is here in our families where our hearts can be softened and in humility we desire to change, to become more childlike. It is a process by which we can become more Christlike.
Have some of life’s experiences taken from you the believing heart and childlike faith you once had? If so, look around at the children in your life. And then look again. They may be children in your family, across the street, or in the Primary in your ward. If we have a heart to learn and a willingness to follow the example of children, their divine attributes can hold a key to unlocking our own spiritual growth.
I will always be grateful for the blessing of my own children. The example of each one has taught me lessons I need. They have helped me to change for the better.
I bear my humble but certain testimony that Jesus is the Christ. He is the one perfect Son—submissive, meek, humble, patient, and so full of love. May each of us have a heart to follow His example, to become as a little child, and thereby return to our heavenly home, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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The Shumway Sequence

1.ALWAYS STRIVING TO INCREASE TIME SPENT AROUND THE SPIRIT

“…Humble yourselves before the Lord…call upon His holy name…watch and pray continually… and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all longsuffering.” (Alma 13:28)

2.ALL THINGS ACCOMPLISHED ACCORDING TO THE LORD’S TIMING

“Let not your minds turn back; and when ye are worthy, in mine own due time, ye shall see and know that which was conferred upon you.” (Doctrine & Covenants Section 67:14)

3.THERE IS SPECIAL SIGNIFICANCE IN THE SERVICE YOU ARE GIVING

“And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” (Mosiah 2:17)

4.INCREASE OUR DESIRE TO HAVE A DEEPER LEVEL OF TRUST AND FAITH

“…exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.” (Alma 32:27 –Faith)“I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good- yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously ; and this is my Spirit.”(Doctrine & Covenants Section 11:12 – Trust)

5.IF YOU ARE HERE NOW, YOU ARE FOREORDAINED TO BE HERE.

“And this is the manner after which [we] were ordained – being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; …therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling…which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such.” (Alma 13:3)

Posted July 24, 2011 by rexfordgbeardsleyjr in Uncategorized